Finding investment properties for sale is a critical step in real estate investing. Being able to identify the most profitable opportunities is the key to making money in real estate. But what is really the best way to find investment properties? And can you really find them without the MLS? This article will detail the process of finding investment properties and show you how you can land great real estate deals without the MLS.
Related: Everything You Need to Know About Multiple Listing Services (MLS)
What Makes Finding Investment Properties Without the MLS Advisable?
Finding investment properties with the MLS has been the standard approach for years now. After all, multiple listings service is one of the most effective real estate investment tools. So what is the incentive for forgoing the MLS? The answer is rather simple. As the housing market becomes increasingly more competitive, real estate investors are starting to look for any competitive edge they can get their hands on. Needless to say, going outside the MLS enables the investor to widen the scope of the search and unearth investment opportunities that the wider market is not aware of.
While using the MLS is still highly advisable, any savvy real estate investor should consider going beyond it when searching for an investment property. Let’s delve into the process of finding real estate investment properties without relying on the MLS.
How to Find Investment Property in Any Housing Market
The process of finding investment properties does come with a learning curve. But once you have grasped all the basics, you will reap the rewards of being able to identify profitable properties in any housing market. Here are some of the methods that you can implement in order to find good investment properties without the need for the MLS.
1- Working with a real estate agent
Retaining the services of a real estate agent is always a great way to find good investments. As a matter of fact, agents are the most well-connected actors in the housing market and their ability to match investors with the ideal properties is simply invaluable. Experienced real estate agents tend to have their own list of potential deals and income properties that are not listed on the MLS. This is why you should consider working with one in your area. Make sure to work with agents that have a proven track record of facilitating all types of real estate deals.
2- Driving for dollars
This strategy continues to yield good returns years after its initial implementation. It might seem extremely simplistic, but driving for dollars is one of the most hands-on approaches that you can try. As you have probably guessed, the strategy revolves around driving through an area and inspecting the properties that are located in it. The main goal here is to identify properties that appear to be not cared for properly, distressed, or unoccupied. Homes that meet these criteria might not be on the market per se, but their owners might be willing to sell if they receive a compelling offer. Here’s what you should look for when driving for dollars:
- Peeling paint
- Garage sale signs
- An overgrown yard
- A lack of curtains or blinds
- Abandoned cars in the driveway
- An excessive amount of mail
- Boarded up windows
There is no way around it, real estate will always be a sector where networking reigns supreme. Smart investors know that every connection they have built over the years can come in handy when it comes to finding investment properties. Whether it is your business contacts or personal friends, you should make it a priority to spread the word and let everyone know you’re planning on investing in rental properties. It is highly likely that someone you know can point you to real estate property for sale. Furthermore, you need to take steps towards expanding your existing network. Get proactive and try to establish connections with as many real estate actors as possible.
4- Using Mashvisor
Using a real estate investor website is another great way of finding investment properties in any housing market. One of the best sites that you can use when looking for investment homes is Mashvisor. This platform boasts all the tools that real estate investors need in order to generate a good return on investment, such as an Airbnb calculator. For example, you can find income properties that are not listed on the market thanks to the Mashvisor Property Marketplace.
This amazing tool gives you access to a wide range of off market properties that include everything from foreclosures to tenant-occupied rentals. Additionally, you can also use the rental property calculator to do a comprehensive investment property analysis and assess the profitability of any potential acquisition. Meaning, Mashvisor allows investors to find properties and analyze them in one place and in a matter of minutes!
Start your 14-day free trial with Mashvisor and subscribe to our services with a 20% discount after.
A Few Extra Tips on How to Find Investment Properties
There is a myriad of ways by which you could go about finding investment properties in your area. The key to success is to always think outside of the box and to constantly experiment with new strategies. A perfect example of this is implementing a strategy that shifts the focus to the seller. Instead of trying to identify properties that could be on the market, you can search for owners that would be willing to sell. You can do this by checking local tax records. This will help you compile a list of owners that are behind on their tax bill. Another option worth considering is checking your local courthouse to see if there are any distressed owners that are unable to repay their debt obligations.
It is also worth noting that you can use Mashvisor to search for owners. Mashboard is an advanced tool that lets you know who owns properties that are not on the market. The sheer number of filters that are available to you makes the search simple and highly effective and you’ll get data on names, phone numbers, emails, and addresses of property owners around the US.
The Bottom Line
Finding investment properties does not have to be restricted to the confines of the MLS. In fact, applying some of the best practices outlined in this article will enable you to tap into profitable, and potentially undervalued investments with relative ease.